Posts

BHTV: Eliezer Yudkowsky & Razib Khan 2010-02-06T14:27:12.762Z · score: 12 (17 votes)
Less Wrong Q&A with Eliezer Yudkowsky: Video Answers 2010-01-07T04:40:35.546Z · score: 43 (43 votes)
Less Wrong Q&A with Eliezer Yudkowsky: Ask Your Questions 2009-11-11T03:00:39.093Z · score: 17 (19 votes)
A Less Wrong Q&A with Eliezer (Step 1: The Proposition) 2009-10-29T15:04:30.286Z · score: 16 (23 votes)
BHTV: Eliezer Yudkowsky and Andrew Gelman 2009-10-13T20:09:18.348Z · score: 8 (9 votes)
Why Don’t We Apply What We Know About Twins to Everybody Else? 2009-10-01T16:23:42.085Z · score: 13 (20 votes)

Comments

Comment by michaelgr on April Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-04-16T19:16:08.176Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Some more on proning in this NYT article:

Some patients, by taking oxygen and rolling onto their sides or on their bellies, have quickly returned to normal levels. The tactic is called proning.
[...]
At Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, Dr. Nicholas Caputo followed 50 patients who arrived with low oxygen levels between 69 and 85 percent (95 is normal). After five minutes of proning, they had improved to a mean of 94 percent. Over the next 24 hours, nearly three-quarters were able to avoid intubation; 13 needed ventilators. Proning does not seem to work as well in older patients, a number of doctors said.
No one knows yet if this will be a lasting remedy, Dr. Caputo said, but if he could go back to early March, he would advise himself and others: “Don’t jump to intubation.”
[...]
Dr. Josh Farkas, who specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Vermont, said the risks of proning were low. “This is a simple technique which is safe and fairly easy to do,” Dr. Farkas said. “I started doing this some years ago in occasional patients, but never imagined that it would become this widespread and useful.”
Comment by michaelgr on April Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-04-02T19:53:33.966Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Something to keep an eye out for:

we also predict that the virus may invade multiple brain tissues, which may help explain to the loss of taste and smell in infected individuals. Has anyone seen evidence of further brain damage in COVID-19 patients? Please share if you do!
Also unexpected is the prediction that the virus may be able to invade the reproductive system (vagina, uterus, testis, cervix, ovary). Has anyone seen evidence for this? Please share if you do.
The COVID-19 targets do not show significant overlap with any major disease module (we tested it against 299 diseases in Menche et al.). The closest diseases to the COVID-19 targets are cardiovascular diseases and cancer, in line with the clinical evidence. Interestingly, we once again find disease of the nervous system among the most proximal diseases

Source


NYT: "Some Coronavirus Patients Show Signs of Brain Ailments"

Comment by michaelgr on April Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-04-02T19:08:51.161Z · score: 21 (5 votes) · LW · GW

New post by Tomas Pueyo, the author of 'Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance':

'Coronavirus: Out of Many, One'

Here’s what we’re going to cover today, with a lot of data, charts and sources:
1. What’s the situation in the US and its states
2. Why the coronavirus should be a bipartisan issue
3. The economics of controlling the virus
4. Which decisions should be left to the federal government or to states
Here’s what you’ll take away:
The coronavirus is growing everywhere in the US.
Some states are on their way to controlling it.
Others have massive outbreaks that make China’s outbreak pale in comparison.
Many are unprepared, and will suffer some of the worst outbreaks.
All voters care about this, Democrats and Republicans.
Democrats were hit first.
But Republicans have more to lose.
They’re older and more likely to die.
Most hesitation comes from the perceived cost of suppressing the virus.
Fortunately, it’s cheaper to suppress it than to let it run loose.
We should do it.
But right now, states are left fending for themselves. It’s a mess.
They are competing against each other instead of collaborating.
They might be forced to seal their borders with each other.
There is a role for states and a role for the federal government. The federal government coordinates, the states execute.
If both step up, we will save lives and increase the GDP.
Comment by michaelgr on April Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-04-02T18:59:56.682Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Video explaining the Czech Republic's experience of having everyone make home-made masks in about 10 days, from a starting point of almost no masks being worn in public in the country.


Here is their COVID19 infection curves on a log chart (seems to be flattening).

Comment by michaelgr on April Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-04-02T18:55:56.933Z · score: 2 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"The Case for Universal Cloth Mask Adoption & Policies to Increase the Supply of Medical Masks for Health Workers"

Excerpt from Twitter thread summarizing it:

We have very good evidence that universal adoption of cloth masks will combat the spread of the virus. Specifically, we know that 1) asymptomatic people spread the virus, 2) mask wearing by infected people prevents them from transmitting the virus (the report provides citations).
How large are the benefits? Even if masks reduce transmission probabilities by only 10% (and as you'll see, that is likely very conservative), the value of *each cloth mask* is between $3,000 and $6,000. Our best estimate is that their protective value is closer to 40-50%.
These estimates are of course sensitive to the assumptions made in the underlying epidemiological models. But even if those models overstate mortality risk by a factor of TEN, each cloth mask *conservatively* generates $300 in value!
That policy is getting more medical masks to healthcare workers. The same economic argument that says that masks for the average person are worth thousands of dollars suggests that each N95 respirator for a healthcare worker could be worth *millions* of dollars (report says why).
[...]
This is why we recommend universal adoption of *cloth masks*, at least until there is no (domestic or global) shortage of medical masks for healthcare workers. Homemade cloth masks do not interfere with the production of medical masks.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ua7j979dbqb045/masks_final_n_HF_NA.pdf?dl=0

Comment by michaelgr on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-03-02T19:26:06.398Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It seems to me like this study wasn't very good and I've been more convinced by the rebuttals, such as this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0u8UdZeOhc

Comment by michaelgr on Seeing the Smoke · 2020-03-02T18:48:46.144Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The tone of this post, including the title, reminds me of an exchange between two characters on the TV show Deadwood (HBO, 2004-2006):

Wild Bill Hickok:
You know the sound of thunder, don't you, Mrs. Garrett?

Alma Garrett:
Of course.

Wild Bill Hickok:
Can you imagine that sound if I asked you to?

Alma Garrett:
Yes I can, Mr. Hickok.

Wild Bill Hickok:
' Your husband and me had this talk, and I told him to head home to avoid a dark result. But I didn't say it in thunder. Ma'am, listen to the thunder.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes August 2012 · 2012-08-09T20:06:20.218Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW · GW

The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes…

— Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Hound of the Baskervilles”

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-03T17:33:52.301Z · score: 20 (28 votes) · LW · GW

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea...

  • Antoine de Saint Exupery
Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-03T17:32:32.109Z · score: 16 (18 votes) · LW · GW

“Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.”

― Brandon Mull, Fablehaven

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-03T17:31:34.084Z · score: 13 (21 votes) · LW · GW

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”

  • Confucius
Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes November 2011 · 2011-11-06T17:23:05.447Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

The correctness of a decision can’t be judged from the outcome. Nevertheless, that’s how people assess it. A good decision is one that’s optimal at the time it’s made, when the future is by definition unknown. Thus, correct decisions are often unsuccessful, and vice versa.

--Howard Marks, The Most Important Thing p.136 (about investing, but applies to other things)

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes November 2011 · 2011-11-04T18:56:35.658Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

We have two classes of forecasters: Those who don't know and those who don't know they don't know.

John Kenneth Galbraith

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes November 2011 · 2011-11-03T18:23:22.333Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Let us take what the terrain gives.

-Amos Tversky

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes November 2009 · 2011-10-22T05:46:31.376Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't remember exactly, but I think it was from a conference where he was speaking with Eliezer on a panel or Q&A, so that might be it.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes October 2011 · 2011-10-11T01:25:29.009Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My understanding is that the advice is to be aware that you could also end up dead, so you should dig an extra grave for yourself. It's not practical advice, it's a warning that revenge is dangerous and not worth it.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes October 2011 · 2011-10-07T00:19:29.986Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

-Confucius

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes September 2011 · 2011-09-11T04:37:20.361Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Not only may questions remain unanswered; all the right questions may not even have been asked.

-Seth Klarman, Margin of Safety, p.90

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes September 2011 · 2011-09-11T04:37:05.240Z · score: 21 (21 votes) · LW · GW

“When you’re young, you look at television and think, There’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It’s the truth.”

-Steve Jobs, [Wired, February 1996]

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes September 2011 · 2011-09-11T04:36:28.235Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

"Using the bible to prove the existence of god is like using The Lord Of The Rings to prove the existence of Hobbits."

-Anon.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes July 2011 · 2011-07-07T03:43:09.892Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes July 2011 · 2011-07-07T03:38:33.876Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Unless there are two horseshoe quotes, this one seems to be disputed:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Niels_Bohr#Disputed

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes July 2011 · 2011-07-03T04:39:12.510Z · score: 20 (28 votes) · LW · GW

One of the most serious problems with modern "management" is that the incentives are all wrong. Imagine that I hire a programmer and pay him by the line of code. This idea has been so thoroughly debunked that it is nearly impossible to write out the consequences without sounding cliché. Yet it happens all the time: Companies promote "Architects" who are evaluated by the weight of their "architecture." The result is stultifying and demoralizing. The architect does not work to facilitate the programmer's work, he works to produce evidence of his contribution in the form of frameworks, standards, and software process.

So, how are most managers evaluated? By the amount of "managing" they do, as measured by the amount of process they impose on their team. Evaluating a manager by the amount of managing they do is exactly the same thing as evaluating a programmer by the amount of code they write. And it produces results like you describe, where the manager works to produce evidence of their management in the form of processes and decisions from the top down, rather than facilitating the work actually being done.

-raganwald, HN, http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2423236

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes July 2011 · 2011-07-03T04:37:58.878Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

One perennial problem is the overwhelming incentive for analysts to issue “Buy” recommendations. The universe of stocks not owned by a customer is always much larger than the list of those currently owned. Consequently, it’s much easier to generate commissions from new “Buy” recommendations than from recommendations to sell.

-Joel Greenblatt

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: June 2011 · 2011-06-08T17:29:12.486Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

It can be that, but I think it also illustrate the importance of understanding people's real goals and intentions and not assuming that they are what they appear to be at first glance.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: June 2011 · 2011-06-02T18:37:39.043Z · score: 32 (40 votes) · LW · GW

"At one of our dinners, Milton recalled traveling to an Asian country in the 1960s and visiting a worksite where a new canal was being built. He was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, the workers had shovels. He asked why there were so few machines. The government bureaucrat explained: “You don’t understand. This is a jobs program.” To which Milton replied: “Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.”

-Milton Friedman story

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: June 2011 · 2011-06-02T18:36:26.445Z · score: 17 (19 votes) · LW · GW

"The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in war."

--WSJ article about Navy SEALs

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: June 2011 · 2011-06-02T18:35:34.103Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

The way to maximize outcome is to concentrate on the process.

-Seth Klarman, letter to shareholders

Comment by michaelgr on Ottawa LW Meetup Saturday April 16th · 2011-04-12T23:04:42.283Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'd love to go, but I'm repainting our new apartment on that day and we already have people coming over to help so it's very hard to reschedule. I'll definitely be there the next time if it's announced long enough in advance. Thank you for taking the initiative!

Comment by michaelgr on Of Gender and Rationality · 2011-03-26T03:37:04.604Z · score: 0 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Very cool of you. At least one person noticed!

Comment by michaelgr on Of Gender and Rationality · 2011-03-24T03:06:28.023Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you.

Goes to show that nothing goes away on the internet; I posted the parent comment 2 years ago.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: March 2011 · 2011-03-08T18:41:38.046Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

  • Mark Twain
Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-03T14:53:17.184Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW · GW

It has never mattered to me that thirty million people might think I'm wrong. The number of people who thought Hitler was right did not make him right... Why do you necessarily have to be wrong just because a few million people think you are?

-- Frank Zappa, quoted from The Real Frank Zappa Book

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-03T14:52:24.925Z · score: 14 (16 votes) · LW · GW

Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid.

-John Wayne, Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-03T14:51:58.269Z · score: 32 (32 votes) · LW · GW

The Company that needs a new machine tool is already paying for it.

-old Warner & Swasey ad

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-03T14:51:43.706Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.

-Chinese proverb

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-03T14:50:58.087Z · score: 14 (16 votes) · LW · GW

History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

-Mark Twain

Comment by michaelgr on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject · 2011-01-18T17:11:42.701Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've added it to my list. I'm currently reading Poor Charlie's Almanack and liking it a lot so far.

The best business book I've read is probably The Essays of Warren Buffett (second ed.), but it's certainly not exhaustive in what it covers.

Update: I've got my copy from Amazon.ca (really fast shipping - 2 days). Will probably have a chance to read it in February.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-05T19:21:04.758Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's a good question. If I had to guess, I would say that most people used to be familiar with the domestic turkey that is being fattened for thanksgiving dinner (or whatever), and those probably can't fly very well, if at all.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-03T21:33:59.943Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

In a strong enough wind, even turkeys can fly.

-Saying of investors

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-03T21:33:38.505Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

We will learn an enormous amount in the very short term, quite a bit in the medium term and absolutely nothing in the long term.

-Jeremy Grantham, about the stock market/economy.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-03T21:32:45.457Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Where all men think alike, no one thinks very much.

-Walter Lippmann

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-03T21:32:11.148Z · score: 12 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Take the bettors in the racetrack experiment. Thirty seconds before putting down their money, they had been tentative and uncertain; thirty seconds after the deed, they were significantly more optimistic ans self-assured. The act of making a final decision--in this case, of buying a ticket--had been the critical factor. Once a stand had been taken, the need for consistency pressured these people to bring what they felt and believed into line with what they had already done. They simply convinced themselves that they had made the right choice and, no doubt, felt better and it all.

-Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The psychology of Persuasion, p.59

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-03T21:31:43.479Z · score: 18 (22 votes) · LW · GW

The person you are most afraid to contradict is yourself.

-Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Comment by michaelgr on Best of Rationality Quotes 2009/2010 · 2010-12-22T16:38:20.785Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you.

Comment by michaelgr on Best of Rationality Quotes 2009/2010 · 2010-12-21T20:10:21.827Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for putting this together, I'm definitely saving it for later perusal!

Apparently, I contributed 27 quotes this year.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: December 2010 · 2010-12-08T17:25:15.880Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The 2002 letter can be found here:

http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2002pdf.pdf

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: December 2010 · 2010-12-05T21:49:21.400Z · score: 12 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

-George Bernard Shaw

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: December 2010 · 2010-12-03T17:40:15.528Z · score: 25 (25 votes) · LW · GW

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it, is committing another mistake.

-Confucius

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: December 2010 · 2010-12-03T17:39:42.899Z · score: 40 (42 votes) · LW · GW

The Noah principle: predicting rain doesn’t count, building arks does.

-Warren E. Buffett